Every time one of your students enrolls or does online registration, you save time and money by not having to manually enter the information. In addition to the resources saved, parents enjoy the convenience of registering on their own time.
Many of our K-12 Online schools have been extremely successful in reducing the time, money, and resources they’ve used during returning student registration. We have compiled their knowledge to bring you our top ten tips to improve your back-to-school registration process.
1. Ensure easy website navigation
— Place the “Register Online??? Web button on your home page and other popular pages to easily link parents to your customized registration form —the fewer clicks to registration, the better.
2. Customize your forms
— It’s easy to create your own customized forms. These are forms you may need in addition to District standard forms and the ones created for you by K-12 Online.
— You can start from scratch or use a template from the forms library.
— Create your forms in Firefox Mozilla. It has fewer bugs than Internet Explorer.
3. Communicate with parents
— Send a Principal’s welcome back letter. Building mutual trust with parents from the start helps provide students with a strong foundation for learning throughout the year.
— Share with parents and students how easy and convenient it is for them to register online.
— Provide easy-to-follow steps for registration on your Web site.
— Include a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section or page regarding online registration on your Web site.
4. Monitor online registration
— A few days prior to “back-to-school??? registration week, monitor the online registration progress and print a report. The report will show you who has completed registration and who has not.
— Send a reminder email to students/parents who have not completed registration and remind students to bring in their signed registration form.
— If you assess fines or fees, reduce long registration lines by sending customized messages to students/parents prior to registration day allowing them to pay in advance.
BACK-TO-SCHOOL WEEK (For those schools that have back-to-school registration prior to the first day of class)
5. Provide adequate training
— Conduct a “back-to-school??? registration training meeting with staff and volunteers so that they are familiar with your system and know where to find pertinent information.
— If volunteers and sub-admin are checking in students, ensure that they have the correct role privileges. (See SCP HELP)
— Recruit adequate staff and volunteers. Provide staggered time slots and make sure the times overlap to make for an easy transition.
— Make sure your staff is familiar with the student online registration process, how to navigate the system and are comfortable explaining it to parents.
— Take note of the reduced data entry workload and valuable time saved to focus on other priorities.
6. Provide good signage
— Have adequate signage so parents know exactly where to go when they arrive.
— Have signs outside with a copy of the registration form pasted to it with instructions of where to go if they do not have the completed Registration form.
7. Simplify registration day
— If it is going to be a warm day, set-up in the gym or other inside area rather than outside and make sure you have enough space to accommodate your students and parents.
— Ask your PTA or a service group to host a refreshment station for parents. It provides a place to congregate and helps build a sense of community among parents.
— Have computers with access to the Internet and printers available (computer lab or library) for those who have not completed the registration process. Provide explicit directions on how to log into online registration through the school network.
— Have one computer with a volunteer whose sole job is to print out the Completed Registration Form for those students who completed the registration at home, but forgot to print the form….the express line!
8. Utilize your school’s Website
— Provide parents and students with easy, online access to your customized registration forms right from your website.
— Post events, announcements, etc. along with photos to stay connected with students, parents and volunteers throughout the school year.
9. Build ongoing awareness
— Whether you send a letter to parents, call them before school starts, or meet them in person, make contact early and plan to follow up with them throughout the year.
–Build general awareness through personalized emails with a clear call to action and/or relevant information.
— Segment your email list to send targeted emails/messages to parents, students or volunteers.
10. Start planning for next school year
— Review with staff ideas for improving the registration process for next year.
— Email a short survey to parents asking whether they found online registration convenient and easy to use and what changes could be made.